An undercover investigation conducted by Service Alberta has resulted in charges to seven Alberta contractors.

The investigation, which occurred between Aug. 19 and Sept. 5, saw 13 contractors in Edmonton and 11 in Calgary which resulted in seven contractors being charged with 11 counts under the Fair Trading Act. Some contractors may see administrative monetary penalties as well.

“Contractors who try to take advantage of honest, hard-working Albertans should be forewarned that this government has strict consumer protection rules and we will enforce them to the full extent of the law,” said Manmeet Bhullar, Minister of Service Alberta.

Proactive enforcement actions have been taken by the government this year, which has put new administrative penalties in place, raised the maximum court fine and doorto- door contact in flood-affected communities to ensure homeowners were aware of their rights when hiring contractors.

The consumer protection law requires contractors to have a prepaid contracting licence when they look for work, discuss or finalize contracts away from a regular place of business and take payment before work is completed.

Prepaid contractors must post security and use a written contract that includes an itemized price list, start and completion dates and a statement of consumers’ cancellation rights. When prepaid contractors are unlicensed it causes unnecessary risk to Alberta Consumers as they may not meet legal requirements.